Tag Archives: Musical Analysis

Tannhauser Revisited

My brother Paul, of blessed memory, hated Tannhäuser.  He said there was “too much Jesus in it.”  I haven’t seen it since th 2012 Bayreuth production (since mercifully withdrawn) and I was happy to have another look during the recent Met revival of the boring and pretty Otto Schenck production. Tannhäuser is the second of the three […]

Parsifal and Wagner’s Theology

After just an unconscionably long time, I have finally got to page 319 of Richard H. Bell’s fine study, Wagner’s Parsifal: An Appreciation in the Light of His Theological Journey.  I am very grateful to Mr. Bell for his discipline and erudition, and for shedding light on both the splendid final work of this master […]

Barenboim: Wagner and Us

I have a special relationship to Daniel Barenboim’s music-making.  It was Barenboim’s ka-jillion-LP set from which I learned the Beethoven piano sonatas in 1972 or so.  It was Barenboim who conducted Tristan in my first visit to Bayreuth in 1981.  It was Barenboim who was at the podium for the Harry Kupfer Ring, and who continued […]

Wagner’s Boundaries (The Null Set)

The London Review of Books features in its 11 April 2013 issue a musing by Nicholas Spice titled “Is Wagner bad for us?”  The breadth of Spice’s inquiries prohibits useful capsulization here, but an early passage of the article is so trenchant that I hoped readers would find it stimulating.  The question posed was “about […]